“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)
In John chapter 4, we find two people that have life-changing encounters with Jesus. We can learn a lot about the characteristics of whom God seeks to be true worshippers from their stories.
In verses 1-26, Jesus is crossing through Samaria on His journey from Judea to Galilee, and He meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in a town called Sychar. Jesus shares secret details about her life and ultimately reveals Himself as the Messiah. She believes and soon after others in her town also come to believe.
In verses 43-54, Jesus arrives in Galilee, where a royal official seeks Him out to heal his son who is about to die. Jesus sends the man on his way, proclaiming that his son will live. His son is healed, and the royal official and his entire household come to believe.
Here are a few interesting characteristics about both individuals that stood out to me.
- Both individuals were unlikely to interact with someone like Jesus. A Samaritan woman known to be in sin speaking with a Jewish male teacher in public, and a royal official begging for help from a poor carpenter.
- Both individuals had a need that could only be filled by Jesus. The Samaritan woman for acceptance and emotional healing from being a social outcast, and the royal official for physical healing for his dying son. Both of course having a need for spiritual healing.
- Both individuals were sinners, willing to humble themselves to Jesus. Jesus acknowledged the Samaritan woman’s broken relationships and the royal official’s desperation for a miraculous sign or wonder.
- Both individuals received Jesus’ words and responded in faith. The Samaritan woman believed and immediately shared her testimony with her townspeople, and the royal official believed and immediately departed back to his son. The royal official showed a growing level of faith throughout his story from the initial ask for help to believing that Jesus is the Messiah, along with his entire household.
When I look at the characteristics of these two people, it paints a clear picture of what type of person that God seeks out. It’s the unlikely, the hopeless, the broken, the needy, the sinner. It’s me, and if you’re honest with yourself, it’s you.
It’s also the ones willing to humble themselves, to hear from God, to seek the Lord, to actually listen, obey, and step out in faith; and the ones willing to share their faith with others.
It doesn’t matter where we came from or what we’ve done. We are all in need of a Savior, and I pray that we may all humble ourselves to grow into the true worshippers that the Father seeks and calls us to be!
[From January 4, 2019]